By Christina Hermoso
Commemorative masses will be held Wednesday in several parishes in many parts of the country and across the world as the Roman Catholic Church honors the memory of Saint John the Evangelist (San Juan Evangelista), the youngest of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ and the author of the Fourth Gospel in the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelation, and three epistles, which contain the sublime definition of the divinity – God is love.
In the country, feast rites will be observed in Tanauan, Batangas; Tapulao, Orani, Bataan; Guimba, Nueva Ecija; and in Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
Rites will also be held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, which has been granted a special bond of affinity with the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Via Ostiense (Ostian Way), just outside the city of Rome, Italy. This means that all pilgrims and devotees who will visit the cathedral will gain the spiritual benefits as if they had actually visited the papal basilica, which houses the stone coffin containing the bones of Saint Paul the Apostle.
St. John was the brother of another apostle, St. James the Great, and, along with Sts. Peter and Andrew, they were originally followers of St. John the Baptist.
Known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” and the patron of love and faith in Jesus, St. John witnessed the many important events in the life of Christ such as His Transfiguration, the Agony in the Garden, and the Last Supper. He was the only apostle who stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified. Jesus entrusted to him the sublime mission to care for the Blessed Mother. He helped spread the Word of God and founded many churches in Asia Minor.
Church officials said, St. John was an apostle of charity by word and example. As the only apostle who was not martyred for his faith and lived into old age, God bestowed upon him four special gifts namely: Christ’s special love for John by the grace of God, John’s freedom from fleshly corruption, the revelation of secrets, and the mission of caring for the Blessed Virgin Mary.